Small Claims Court provides a simpler and less expensive way to resolve disputes. It is designed so people can take their cases to court without the help of a lawyer, although individuals may still choose to have a lawyer represent them.
Small Claims Court may be an option for settling some disputes, depending on the nature of the dispute and the dollar value of the claim.
A Claim Form is used to set out the details of your claim and is filed with the court before serving the other party.
There are rules about how the other party is notified about a claim against them, including acceptable methods and time frames.
If you are being sued in Small Claims Court it is important to understand the steps you must take to defend the claim against you.
Counter Claims and Third Party Claims allow you to make your own claim against the party suing you or to add another party to the claim against you.
After a claim has been filed, the parties may meet briefly with the judge at a first appearance to determine whether the parties can resolve their dispute without a trial.
All parties in a Small Claims Court case must attend a conference before a judge to try to settle any matters that can be settled before trial and provide information for trial management.
Understanding the trial process in Small Claims Court will help ensure that you are properly prepared and organized to present or defend the claim.
PLEA can provide you with information to help you understand many legal matters you, a family member or friend may be facing.